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Jan Bohuslav Sobota died on May 2nd of 2012 and this is my remembrance of this fine man who was a friend and mentor to me. Each autumn, salmon return to the rivers of their birth a€“ there to spawn and once again trigger a renewal of the eternal passion play. Salmon that do eventually arrive at their destinations must once again compete a€“ this time for mates and to fight for access to the precious and very limited gravels. The profligate expenditure of life and extravagant wealth of biology is there everywhere to behold, as Death dances lightly among the gathering throngs of fish, picking and choosing from among them; who from their number shall successfully spawn and who shall just be food for the gathering predators and scavengers. Spend a day in silence, walking among the spawning salmon, as they dig spawning redds, jockey for position and slash at competitors with those gaping, snaggletoothed, hooked jaws. Jan Bohuslav Sobota has died, while half a world away; I was preparing these etchings of Spawned Salmon and dedicating them to Jan, the lover of fish.
The book you hold in your hands has evolved from my simply giving these etchings a second life in book form, to my using them as a vehicle for honoring a friendship of three decades. In 1985, Jan and I had been corresponding for some months without ever meeting a€“ all quite distant and correct.
A short bit of background on Jan Sobota to begin, but fear not; Ia€™ll soon be spinning anecdotes and thoughts on books as art a€“ celebrating Jana€™s life of course, telling a few stories out of school, but also straying into the personal and speculative in search of the meaning to be derived from the life and death of a friend. Jana€™s father was a serious bibliophile and collector of fine books, who nurtured that same love of books in his son a€“ an appreciation that steadily grew, until he was apprenticed to master bookbinder Karel A ilinger in PlzeA?. The pivotal event in Jana€™s early life as a book artist was the posthumous retrospective exhibition of fellow Pilsener, Josef VA?chal in 1969.
Jan supported a family, sponsored workshops, exhibited widely, did conservation work on rare historic books, ran a gallery a€“ and on it went. What Jan did for contemporary bookbinding, was to act as a bridge between the traditionally trained masters of the past and innovators of the present. America was a great place to be a book artist in the early 1980a€™s precisely because it was an active zone of hybridization and hotbed of creativity.
An instructive contrast to the anything-goes US scene was the icy reception I got when I showed a wooden box containing loose sheets of poetry and etchings to a Prague publisher.
Neither Jan nor I had much interest in the book-like objects that often sneak into the museums as book arts a€“ the carved and glued together things that sorta, kinda have a bookish aspect to them a€“ rough-looking a€“ perhaps chain-sawed Oaken boards or granite slabs, slathered in tar and lashed together with jute; but lacking text. When Jana€™s books went beyond function, conservation or decoration, they were subtle statements about binding and the place of books, knowledge and art, as well as statements about the dignity inhering in the handcrafted - with a good dose humor.
There are others who know their conservation and those, whose scientific contributions are far greater, but few of them are also artists at heart. It can sound so pedestrian, these eternal compromises between art and craft, yet what Jan represented was not at all common.
There is an inflection point at which exceptional craft begins to make the transition to art and it is closely associated with surmounting the limitations inhering to the discipline. Visiting with Jan in his workshop you quickly realized, that he did what a professional must, but ultimately, he just loved messing about with books. A curiously protean hybrid of artist and craftsman, ancient and modern, one cannot think of Jan without seeing an unabashed Czech patriot in a foreign land. Early on in their stay in Cleveland, the Sobotas experienced the quintessential American disaster.
Even after their medical debts were retired, money was still an issue for a family of immigrants with three kids a€“ two with special needs. Later on, when they were living in Texas, the massacre at Waco opened Jana€™s eyes to yet another difficult side of his adopted home.
In 1979, I apprenticed with Jindra Schmidt, an engraver of stamps and currency, living in Prague.
Schmidt had engraved stamps for Bulgaria, Iraq, Ethiopia, Albania, Guinea, Vietnam and Libya. In 1992, Jindra Schmidt was honored for his contributions and depicted on the last stamp of a united Czechoslovakia, before it split into Czech and Slovak republics a€“ a fitting tribute. Unlike most children of immigrants, my destiny remained connected to that of my parentsa€™ homeland. My vocation as artist clarified itself in Prague while learning the increasingly obsolete skills of steel engraving. My first book was indeed, modeled after VA?chal, even to the extent of its diabolical subject matter.
Jan showed me a great deal in the following years about the tradition of books as the meeting place of art, craft and ideas a€“ where printmaking intergrades seamlessly with the worlds of language, typography and illustration. One can like these things just fine and admire them from an uncomprehending distance, or you can become engaged. The book you hold was to have been a simple reprint of the Spawned Salmon a€“ something fun for Jan to work his magic upon.
Nice sentimental reminiscences, but there is still the matter of getting the work accomplished and out before the public, organizing exhibitions, printing catalogs and paying for transatlantic flights. The Prague show was reconfigured and curated by Jana€?s longtime friend, Ilja A edo, for exhibition at the West Bohemian Museum in PlzeA?.
Quite predictably, I like seeing the kind of work I do honored a€“ the wood engravings and etchings made to shine in the context of crisply printed type and an excellent binding.
Ia€™ve heard printmakers lament that the surest way to devalue prints is to add excellent poetry, sensitive typography and a bang-up binding a€“ and then live to see the whole thing sell for half the price of just the unbound prints. Therea€™s nothing quite like seventeenth century Bohemia, the dead center of Europe, for particularly thorough violence a€“ with the Bubonic Plague stepping in afterwards as mop-up crew.
The chapel at Sedlec was rebuilt after the major blood-letting of the thirty-years war as a memento mori a€“ reminder of death. What can you say about the mounds of dead, the ruined lives, destroyed nations and misery multiplied by millions that isna€™t trite or self-evident? But then I pan over to other fields a€“ not the kind where the grass is composting my fellow man, but to fields of endeavor where the ferment is of ideas recombining into ever more refined ways of thinking. I once lived at the Golem house in Prague a€“ at Meislova ulice, number 8, in the old Jewish ghetto.
Horoscopes might seem a curious basis on which to select ministers and diplomats, but it is also more common than youa€™d think. Picture the scene before you: Ita€™s a late night in Prague, before the Marlboro man dominated every street corner, even before the neon of casinos and the vulgarity of Golden Arches assaulted the nightwalkersa€™ eyes at all hours a€“ back when darkness, oh yes, that beautiful comforting velvety, all-enveloping and blessed dark, broken only by the moon, stars and late night taxis, still ruled the streets after the sun went down.
The Golem was a mythic being of Jewish folklore, created from clay and quickened by the Shem, a magical stone engraved with an ancient Hebraic inscription, inserted into Golema€™s forehead. The maternal tongues of these small nations have miraculously survived all the invasions, floods, plagues and foreign occupiers to this day a€“ a gift preserved and delivered to them across the generations. Minority languages, on the other hand, carry an emotional load that can scarcely be exaggerated.
Ishi and his sister were the last of the Yahi tribe to survive the genocidal colonization of California.
Those whose language and culture are not threatened can never know the burden under which the carriers of small minority languages labor a€“ nor how those in exile bring up their children to preserve that which is beyond their capacities to save. Jan was all about preserving traditions and the kind of ancestral knowledge that today is mostly enshrined in books. Today, the stories of our tribes are less and less passed on as oral tradition and most often read to us from the childrena€™s books wea€™ve learned to treasure a€“ illustrated by fine artists and produced with care for the highly discriminating purchasers of childrena€™s books a€“ for grandparents. A?epelA?k employed binders and typesetters to present complete suites of his work and in this too, he introduced me to a new world.
Later in Prague I missed my flight back, due to the World Trade Center bombing and was delayed by a week.
The difficult thing to bear in acknowledging my teachers, models, heroes, suppliers and inspirations, is that these masters of the crafts and industries surrounding and supporting the book arts are mostly deceased. The fruit we seek is not fast food, but laden with full-bodied flavors, attained by slow natural processes.
All of us come from grandfathers who once were wheelwrights, cobblers or instrument makers; men with a profound love of wood and leather, who knew the working qualities of every kind of obscure tree growing in their countryside a€“ men who knew when to reach for elm or hickory a€“ as well as for goat, dog or even fish-skins. Jan spoke fondly of his grandmother, who baked bread every week of the year to feed an entire estate a€“ farm hands, livery people, gentry, trainers and hod-carriers alike.
Working consciously is the ultimate goal a€“ and that is the legacy youa€™ll find evidently contained within and upon the boards of every book bound by Jan Bohuslav Sobota. The etchings you see here first came to life as illustrations for the wedding anniversary announcements of MA­la and Jaroslav KynA?l. Jan Bohuslav Sobota died on May 2nd of 2012 and this is my remembrance of this fine man who was a friend and mentor to me.A  He was an exceptional bookbinder, teacher and promoter of the book arts, but also an exile who successfully returned home after years abroad. I first saw them perform at the 2009 Tribes Hill Annual Meeting and Hootenanny at the historic Hammond House headquarters in Valhalla, NY.
Much of their work carries the style and emotional power of musical theater, something Ia€™m very fond of. After they found out that they were all into music, they'd go over to Paul's house and play just for fun doing covers of Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt and others.
Outside of her positive chorus experiences, there were two stumbling blocks, one of them having a lasting negative effect.
The next step she took was to enroll as a Theater major at SUNY (State University of New York), Fredonia, near Buffalo NY. Around 1996, the three had been getting together to play at Paul's house for some time, eventually playing a few shows as The YaYas, but never took any of it too seriously. In 2003, they self-produced their first 10-song CD, Everything, co-produced and mixed by Ben Wisch whoa€™d produced the Grammy-winning album Walking in Memphis by Mark Cohn and additionally, other notable performers (Patty Larkin, Lucy Kaplansky, Jonatha Brooke, Red Molly).
While Catherine is the lyricist for the band, she readily acknowledges the integral part that Jay and Paul play, sometimes helping her complete the songs, pushing her past hurdles in the narratives. Paper Boats was just completed in September, and I was able to listen to the album before its release. The band moved to Mohegan Lake, near Peekskill, NY in 2005, and has become a part of the Tribes Hill community.
The YaYas will appear in Acoustic Live showcases at NERFA and wea€™ll be at the Postcrypt Coffeehouse for their October 1st show. I thought Jay, wry humorist, was the joker in the 3-card hand until Paul started to tell his story. There are performers who scale the heights of imagination and feeling, who walk the high wire of entertainment with such aplomb it leaves audience members giddy.
When Ariana sings a€?Oh The World,a€? about an act of love so precious, it seems too good to be true. In one of her many YouTube videos, we watch as she and her father, David, play a€?Oh The Worlda€? as a duet. When Ariana was 15 or16, she attended an Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF) Conference.
When she was 16, she released a self-titled demo which had only 300 copies printed a€” primarily used for her appearance at her first conference. At her fathera€™s urging, Ariana attended more folk conferences which continued to raise her profile. Ariana didna€™t really become serious about music until a three-month bout with double pneumonia brought her close to death.
Arianaa€™s first album, To Make It Make Sense, was released in 2009, when she was 18 years old. I asked Ariana about the source for the allegorical song, a€?John and the Monster.a€? She couldna€™t pinpoint anything in particular. In the video, her father, ever the supporter and mentor, sits across from her and when she finishes, he murmurs, a€?Not bad.a€? In response, Ariana laughs.
When we first encountered Ariana at the 2011 NERFA last November, we were shocked to discover that the youthful-looking sideman on guitar, Dobro and mandolin was Arianaa€™s father, David.
Ariana and David will be making a number of appearances in the United States this fall, and specifically the Living Room in NYC each month.
We discussed the underlying truth of the fantastical story in the song a€” that something of beauty can be destroyed by a society who would imprison it and destroy its magic. There they encounter resident trout and bass a€“ even sunfish, chubs and dace, all keyed into the increasingly plentiful and highly nutritious bounty of salmon eggs.
Situated 90A km south-west of Prague at the confluence of four rivers, PlzeA? is first recorded in writings from the tenth century.
That vision was about innovation and creativity within the context of an historical tradition. This is what youa€™ll see in a Sobota binding a€“ exceptional attention paid to context and relationships, using materials and technical means that do indeed function and last.
He knew his work was valuable and documented it fastidiously a€“ confident that it would be last. There was, however, nothing about his nationalism that demeaned anybody elsea€™s traditions or origins. That smallish incident within the parade of American fringe politics elicited an insanely violent level of suppression.
Masaryk a€“ and the cute little girl with a bouquet of flowers, is my mother Eva, at the age of three. Schmidta€™s income from the federal mint far exceeded anybody elsea€™s in the extended family and supported a network of cars, cottages and rent-controlled flats. Schmidt, as he preferred to be called, was a man of conservative demeanor who preferred polite and reserved forms of speech and address. While visiting their unassuming engraver and extending my tourist visa 30 days at a time, I was quietly becoming qualified for life as a counterfeiter a€“ a vocation within which, one is set for life, however it may eventually turn out. Jan allowed several binders to have their way with it a€“ amo boxes for slipcases with shell casings for hinges and so forth.


This next incarnation of our exhibit in PlzeA? was all just a bit more prosaic and provincial. Is it the binding we consider and exhibit a€“ or is the binding there to conserve a text, which is ultimately the point?
There are also binders to whom everything else is merely the text block, who care little if it is an offset trade edition or a book made by hand.
The tales therein recorded reflected the accreted wisdom and wit of a people as they retold them across the highlands in modest log cottages after the harvest was in.
The way of working belongs to the Sobota vision I addressed earlier a€“ the honor and soul to be found in conscientiously made handcrafts.
I dona€™t feel that accomplished or ready to assume their mantle and yet with every generation that is what must happen. Gravels, with just the right flow of fresh water running up through stones of the right size are but a tiny portion of the riverbed.A  The salmon must struggle past cities and sewer pipes, farms and irrigation systems, dams and turbines, fishermen and waterfalls a€“ just to reach the streams of their birth. The band in which she sings lead vocals, The YaYas, has just released a new album, Paper Boats. With her husband, Jay Mafale on guitar and old friend Paul Silverman on piano, she forms the point at which the lineup, in tandem, pushes its way into the listenera€™s heart. Neither of his parents had musical ability, but his father played Sinatra records all the time. Her teachers were serious about teaching everything from folk singing, to sight reading and ear training. The company would rearrange the space differently, according to need, sometimes in-the-round, often with the audience in close proximity to the actors.
He didn't pursue any type of musical performance during his 4 years at college, but his drive to play was persistent.
He did some acting for fun and enjoyed the camaraderie of the other actors, continuing with the theater group after graduation. During this period, Jay and Catherine fell in love and in October of 1997, they got married. On their honeymoon, Catherine was thrown from a horse and two of her vertebrae were crushed. Reaching back to their first CD, Everything, it was evident that they had something special.
Catherine continues to do what she does best, writing songs that touch upon her personal experiences, but contain universal appeal, then express them with refined, passionate vocals.
Reaching back to their first CD, Everything, it was evident thatA  they had something special.
It happened at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference last year when we first saw Ariana Gillis, and it happens over and over, every time we see her. Ariana took piano lessons when she was young and didna€™t become interested in guitar until she got one when she was 12.
When I mentioned that I found her to be a lot like Josh Ritter in her imaginative storytelling, she verified that observation, saying a€?I like it that he [Josh] tries to intertwine another story with a love songa€¦ it makes it more interesting. When Ariana was around 13, her father would take her with him when he was playing certain gigs, especially ones that hea€™d booked himself. David started calling around asking bookers for venues to let Ariana open for artists theya€™d already booked.
These soul-defining experiences are the catalyst that affects the skewed stories she is compelled to tell. She got a publicist who helped her introduce her CD, getting radio airplay even before it was officially released, and who helped her get bookings a€” and they were exclusively her gigs. Wea€™re used to it now, but it hasna€™t lost that sense of a treasured combination of father-daughter bonding in such an exalted endeavor a€” the making of music. This widely beloved stamp was re-issued in 2000 and mother continues to receive philatelic fan mail to this day. He died the day I was composing a colophon for the Spawned Salmon with words of praise for his lifea€™s work. The song, a€?All these Gifts,a€? is from that album, and epitomizes her command of the songwriting craft and her vocal abilities.
Once they found out about their mutual interest in making music, in small increments, their path revealed itself. When she was around 14 years old, as a Christmas gift, her mother purchased private lessons for her with a voice teacher. Finding that she liked it, she performed through the rest of high school in some dramas and a couple of musicals.
It gave Catherine a new, heightened confidence, having the audience right next to her at times. She'd lost the grandmother she sang with at age 14 and her maternal grandmother the year before her mom died.
I got my hands on Everything at the 2009 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference.
Although no one else in her family had musical talent, her grandmother, who loved to sing, lived next door. I got my hands on EverythingA  at the 2009 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA) Conference. We find ourselves wondering, a€?Just how good can she get?a€? Her powerful voice, soaring through the high registers, suggests the pinnacle is not yet in sight.
During that time she thought shea€™d overcome it, but had to retreat to bed as it hadna€™t really gone away. She played recordings of her original work for the interviewer and, highly impressed, he advised her not to attend school, but to stick with her own work. Sometime soon after that six-month period, Ariana was in the studio doing the vocals for her first full CD. We learn from her bio that: a€?David Marsh played the track, a€?John and the Monstera€™ to his radio audience a€” one response was a phone call from an enthusiastic listener who wanted to know more about the unusual song, and the singer. John, dying of a brain tumor rows out to the middle of the lake and coaxes the monster out of hiding. We have all these dreamsa€¦ but it slowly starts to disintegrate in front of us and we wonder, what happened to my shiny dream?a€? Ita€™s difficult to express here, its sound and the way it packs such an emotional wallop. The engraving was masterfully done by Schmidta€™s long-dead colleague, Bohumil Heinz (1894-1940).
The state security apparatus was surely aware of my presence, but if they kept tabs on me, I never knew.
The lead singer begins, her voice with that little catch in it which always works its way past my defenses. During a 90-minute conference-call interview, amidst many laughter-filled moments, we learned about each membera€™s individual path and what brought them together. Given that there wasn't much money available for such things, it was for just one lesson per month and, to her, it was a special gift. However, during her senior year, her English teacher told her that the subject matter in her poems was immature and not worth writing about. Rehearsals were held mostly on Long Island and toward the end also in Manhattan, where Jay was living. She was confined, with a brace, to bed rest for three months, allowed to take a few steps once a day. In my December NERFA CD reviews, I wrote: a€?While Jay on guitar and Paul on keyboard are terrific, Catherinea€™s voice is the jewel in the setting. In addition to co-bills with Freda€™s band, Hope Machine and the YaYas, Fred and Catherine will be touring together this fall. Likewise, her song-stories, fed by a keen mind open to both reality and parables of fantasy, spark a wonder in us. Catherine until Ariana was a year old, then moved further west to Vineland a€” about an hour south of Toronto.
She also took music lessons in high school, studying oboe and upright bass and drums a€” and still wants to learn trumpet. More often than not, it would be Ariana and a girlfriend whoa€™d do a cover song, something that the student body could relate to and that reflected the sermon that day. David would also perform at an annual Christmas show and would have Ariana perform as well.
She slept in an upright position to keep breathing, waking up every hour, each night, coughing from the fluid in her lungs.
The mystery caller was Elton Johna€™s lyricist and songwriting partner Bernie Taupin.a€? Thata€™s quite a connection a€” and one hell of a quote that came out of it. Everything is just so wonderful and everybody so creative, but suspending judgment long enough to actually look at some artwork and then giving it a chance isna€™t so bankrupt, is it?
Human body parts are again flying and the Baron is at his best defeating Turks and evading friendly fire from buffoonish generals.
Farmers would occasionally find their possessions and take them as souvenirs, unaware that the last Indians still lived in their midst.
Damn the cost; ita€™s who we are and the last material vestiges of soulful encounters with our elders a€“ onea€™s whose stories are slipping inexorably away, thinned by each passing year and generation.
Their kids were grown and they were by then slipping into that last, reflective phase of life a€“ done competing. Hearing them again, on a number of occasions, their brilliance reinforced my initial impression. When he was 12, his parents took him to a Sinatra concert and he was thrilled to watch Buddy Rich drumming. During the third lesson, Catherine asked the teacher if she had a chance to become a singer.
At the songa€™s end, the captured monster is dying, so John, sacrificing himself, sets him free, becomes sick again and perishes. These scraps turned out to be a deck of medieval playing cards - the second oldest such cards known. A book is so much more than the sum of its parts a€“ and yet each of us tends to have our own bailiwick in which we shine and to which we look first. During her recuperation period, she had time to reflect, and she realized that singing was the most important thing in her life and she wanted to make a serious attempt to work at it full-time. He would constantly stop to play his guitar sitting nearby and finally gave up the piano and just stuck with the guitar.
He wanted me to get better.a€? She said that shea€™d often co-opt Patty Griffin material and turn it into something of her own. These plates have been inked and wiped by hand, employing methods that woulda€™ve been familiar to Rembrandt.
She worked 30 hours a week her first two years and didn't audition for anything the first year.
She spoke to Jay and Paul about pushing for more gigs, so in 1998, they surveyed the musical landscape and began their serious run as a band. David created his own arrangements of songs and eventually competed in the annual United States championship contest in Winfield, Kan. They crashed with my wife Jana and me in Kalamazoo, while taking the a€?orientation coursea€?nearby. I can confidently report back to my English reader, that Jan would only grow in stature for you, if you could have fully understood the subtlety of his thoughts in his own maternal tongue. After re-acclimating herself as a student, in her sophomore year, she started performing in plays again.
He worked with rehearsals for shows, so there wasn't time to practice the material a€” he just had to pick it up quickly. Even though her illness left her debilitated, she still managed to graduate from high school and made the honor roll. I know that your love will last for all time, that your faithfulness is as permanent as the sky. Perhaps right for those who shouldna€™t have sharp objects, for fear of hurting themselves.
That show was purchased whole by Special Collections at Western Michigan University and constitutes the largest collection of Sobota bindings and the most complete archive of my work. In addition, she took a writing course, and in Carolyn Sobel, her professor, found a believer.
He had a small career going when he was younger but gave it up and decided to help Ariana when he saw how talented she was. Few people would have cast a second glance at that glued-up mess of moldering old papers before pitching it, nor would they have recognized what they had in hand or known how to restore or sell it. Ita€™s dreamlike, with Paula€™s keyboard ringing like chimes and Jaya€™s solemn guitar strum conducting a stately march.
15: But you, O Lord, are a merciful and loving God, always patient, always kind and faithful.
These folks were a profound blessing to a family facing some truly rough sailing a€“ a Godsend.
Schmidt had worked was signed with warm dedications to him and thus worth real money to collectors. He wanted to see the printmaker in me come to full fruition and I wanted to be worthy of his attentions.
The family has dwelled within sight of the seats of power, pushing copper plates through a press and outlived the Hapsburg Monarchy, First Republic, Nazis and Communists. The intact packages were still there on their shelves, all duly graded, labeled and priced, awaiting an owner who was never to return.


Catherinea€™s voice floats, ethereally high over them: Please let him keep looking toward this horizona€¦When Ia€™m thinking of him, ita€™s twilight. Back home, their Czech neighbors would have envied them and accused them of theft or worse, but people here seemed to be pleased as punch to see them prosper a€“ genuinely happy for them. Those items too, kept trickling out the door, until there came a sad, sad day, when the golden eggs were all gone. They bashfully admitted their foolishness and went back to making beautiful books a€“ and their American friends were so relieved to see them regain their sanity.
You take time to grieve and then pick yourself up by your bootstraps (by God a€“ get a grip) and get on with it (Rome wasna€™t built in a day you know).
StrejA?ek was still working, but it was all coming to an inevitable end, as he grew shaky of hand and hard of seeing. 8: But God has shown us how much he loves us a€“ it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us!Hebrews 13, vs. Enriched by my days of being nurtured by Prague, Matkou MA›st (Mother of Cities), I moved on to meet my destiny with art.
I would come home from work and plop myself in the chair for A? hour or so, wash up, change my clothes and eat dinner. I can count on my one hand the number of times I played ball with my boy or took my daughter shopping.
I feel sorry for my children for not being there for them and sorry for my wife because she raised the kids pretty much on her own and she did a great job of it. I am sorry for myself also because the moments that I missed with my children can never be recovered. I thought I was doing my best by beingA a goodA provider but in my older wisdom I know that being a Dad was the most important thing they needed. He created us, molded us, watches over our lives, provides for us, and when we die He brings us into His kingdom.
It was customary at that time for Rabbis (Jesus was onea€”it meant teacher) when they were among a crowd to say the first verse of a Psalm. What He most likely was doing was wanting the rest of the people, and us, to say the rest of the Psalm.
Kendall===============================================================================Pastor Pop-Pop June 12, 2010. Lost loves, friends, jobs, disagreements with others, death of relatives, and depression are just some of the reasons we lose pride and hope in one self.
We could go on with this forever so today I am just addressing those qualities in single people. With single people, it could just be the problem with finding the right a€?someonea€? to love. The delay or loss of a past love (among other things) could send someone spiraling downward into a loss of respect for themselves.
Nationally, there are 85.6 unmarried men for every 100 unmarried women and the birthrate is approximately 53% women over men.
They have the a€?TV-ADa€? looks, drugs, drinking, sex, and instant communication (cell and text). Some people give up on themselves and become self destructive with over eating and drinking or hibernation.
From a mana€™s perspective, if a man is looking for a quick date, sex, or just a temporary girlfriend he will frequent a bar.
If a man is looking for a long term loving relationship or wife, he will look around church, a library (or book store), coffee bars, or social groups.
Dona€™t settle on things that go against you conscience whether it is with yourself or a mate. People with multiple divorces fail in relationships, drinkers are good drinkers, abusers (physical or mentally) are just abusers and players, and cheaters are cheaters.
People rarely change and never enter a relationship with the thought that you can later on change that person to your expectations. If a person you care for ever poses this statement ----- A a€? If you want me (or love me) you need to do a€?this or thata€™.a€? ----- then walk away and dona€™t look back. The following religions or faiths consider Jesus as an enlightened spiritual teacher: Jehovaha€™s Witnesses, Mormonism, Unification Church , Christian Science, A? of all Wicca, New Age, Nation of Islam, Bahaa€™i World Faith, Hare Krishna, Hinduism, some of Judaism, and Islam.
It is funny that all these listed above recognize him as a great spiritual teacher but do not follow His teachings. The other half of Wicca, Transcendental Meditation, Scientology, and Buddhists either do not mention Him or He is not important to their way of thinking. Genesis Chapter #1 in part of verse 2 says, a€?and the Spirit of God was moving over the watera€?. He won trophies for the best in class in New York State for horseshoes and archery (before compound bows) for several years running.
He hunted and fished and always, it seemed, brought back his limit no matter what game, fish, or bird was in season. He joined the Navy Sea Bees in WW2 and ended up getting drafted in the Marine Corps on an Island in the Pacific during the conflict.
The only way there is through His Son Jesus so I accept Him as my Lord and Savior and try my best to follow His ways. A ====================================================== ==============================================Note: If you have not seen the movie "Left Behind" with Kirk Cameron, now would be the time. Well to begin with; this promise from God is only for believers and followers of Jesus Christ. Paul was talking about believers and inserted the condition of a€?for those who love Goda€?.
You see, when you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and ask for forgiveness and confess to Him your sins --------- you are washed clean with the blood of Christ.
However, sometimes you carry the baggage of the memories of those sins in your mind and heart. This verse in Romans assures you that your guilt is unjustified because God will make it turn out in the end for good. Jesus did not promise that this life would be easy but that He would walk through those troubled times with you. Although it was a good one, it caused me much stress and sometimes aspects of it violated my conscience. I do believe that God is making this bad thing turn out to be good and I think He has a better job for me in the near future. If you believe in God and love Him and believe in His promise, these too will turn out for the better. And leta€™s not forget that even though what his brothers did was a€?wronga€?, God made it into good when Joseph forgave them and helped them.
His promise does not make wrong right but makes it turn out into something good for his glory, for us believers. We know that Jesus will walk with us through the valley but God will get us to the mountain top when we get through it.
I am sure there are many stories out there of how this verse helped many people weather their storms. Kendall============================================================Pastor Pop-Pop July 31, 2010. Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth. Do not bow down to any idol or worship it, because I am the Lord your God and I tolerate no rivals. I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation.
It tells us His personality, words, likes, dislikes, rules, commands, pleasures, and all the things he has done. So any god or image of him that does not conform to or match the one described in the Bible (the word of God) is not the God of Israel that we are to worship. Let us be clear that making images of anything is not a violation of the commandment but actually worshiping it as a god. Some churches within the body of Christ have pictures or statues of saints or even Jesusa€™ mother.
That is not a violation unless the statue (or the person) a€?itselfa€? is being worshiped as a god or the statue is believed to have some sort of power within itself.
Wearing a Jewish star or a cross is also not a violation unless the emblem itself is worshiped.
If they are decorations that is OK but if you actually place or believe some hope or faith of luck in them, it is a violation of the commandment.
People now seem to create their own god to worship in a€?their own minda€? and not within the scope of the Word of God (the Bible).
The one I hear the most is, a€?I am a good person so that is all that is needed to go to Heaven and be saved.a€? That is not what the Bible tells us. Matthew 7:21 (ESV) says, a€?Not everyone who says to me a€?Lord Lord,a€™ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.a€? What is the will of the Father? People go around saying god is this or god is that or that is a€?not what I believe ina€™ but if their beliefs are not in line with the Bible, they are in violation of the first commandment. God is OK with working on a Sunday (or having your place of business open), God is OK with Homosexual and Gay behavior, I dona€™t have to go to church and worship Him, I dona€™t have to give, I dona€™t have to forgive everyone, it is OK to kill unborn babies, He is OK with pagan rituals, I can be rude to people, God did not make the earth a€“ and on and on and on. The pastor said that this church was saying the Holy Spirit told them this was OK but another church said that the Holy Spirit was against this and yet another one had a different view point from the Holy Spirit. We all violate them in some way or another but that is why Jesus died on the cross to wash us clean in His blood and absolve us of our faults. He scribed it on stone tablets and gave them to Moses on the mountain top to give to His people. That is the translation that she likes to use.===============================================================Thou shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous Goda€¦a€¦a€¦a€¦a€¦a€¦a€¦a€¦. Leta€™s take one at a time and discuss:We discussed this command last sermon (review if you want to).
Have you ever created another God in your mind or worshiped another god of a different religion or faith? Jesus said that if you even lust in your heart (or mind) for another that you violate this commandment.
Covet is defined in the NIV dictionary as: To want for yourself something that belongs to another person. Whether you take it or not, take it and not return it, or just desire it ---- you have violated this commandment. If you believe in Jesus and accept Him as your Lord and Savior, you are forgiven of your sins and you are washed in His blood clean and white as snow.
A Timothy McVey the mastermind on the Oklahoma bombing defied God and declared that he alone was the a€?master of his destinya€?. A ==============================================================================Pastor Pop-Pop August 24, 2010. Having a good relationship with your spouse, family, friends, or co-workers is usually based on a good two way conversational attitude. To render Him praise and glory through prayer, actions, good deeds, following His laws and commandments, and accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. He knows what we need before we ask but He likes to hear it from us also with some praise and worship attached. Your Mom knows you need food and gives you healthy meals but approaching her and asking for a snack also tells her you would like some cheese doodles too. Prayers can be from a book, made up by you, from the Bible, or just general conversation between you and God. They can be on your knees by your bed, in Church, or just during every day activities or work. I try to concentrate not on an earthly or worldly fixture or thing but temporarily close my eyes (not while driving) or look up when I talk to Him.
I find one (or a paragraph or verse) that I derive comfort from and say it as a special prayer to the Lord. What can flesh do to me?Psalm 121(NLT): I look up to the mountains-does my help come from there?
Go to a good book store and page through some and see which ones are comfortable for you personally. They are good Bibles but one is paraphrased and one is in a so called modern language that, for me, does not read real well. I highly recommend The New Living Translation (NLT), The New Century Version (NCV), or the New American Bible (NAB). The first two are used a lot with Contemporary Christian Churches and the third contains extra books as it was designed to meet the needs of Catholic Christians. I also like the Good News Translation (GNT).A It is important that you like it and are comfortable with it.



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